On August 12, 2016, Paramount Pictures and MGM will release a brand new version of the classic story Ben-Hur starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Bonidai and Morgan Freeman and produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The original 1959 film starred Charlton Heston and earned 11 Academy Awards and is listed among the American Film Institutes Top 100 movies of all time.
Producers Burnett and Downey previously released the popular miniseries The Bible and the film Son of God. Ben-Hur, which has been reported to have even a stronger faith element than the previous version, is the couple’s latest faith-based theatrical production. The couple has previewed scenes from the film at T.D. Jakes’ Megafest, the 2016 National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) conference and Variety’s Purpose event.
“(Ben-Hur is) an action movie but at the center of it is the story of Jesus, the story of redemption, of forgiveness,” Burnett remarked at Megafest. “It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done and again we are remaining to be Hollywood’s noisiest Christians.”
Filled with action—including a new version of the classic chariot race—and elevated by Christian themes of justice, liberty & radical forgiveness, Ben-Hur tells the classic story of Judah Ben–Hur (Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery and despair.
After years at sea, a turn of events sends Judah on an epic journey back to his homeland to seek revenge, where a chance encounter with Jesus of Nazareth (Rodrigo Santoro) transforms his life and leads him to discover grace, mercy and ultimately, redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
Ben-Hur will release on August 12, 2016 from Paramount Pictures and MGM.